A Few Things

May 9, 2014

New York City from the back of a Taxi

Image and text by Gabrielle.

What a week! It started for me with a very, very early flight from Atlanta to San Francisco on Sunday morning. We said goodbye to Olive as she went off on a two-week school trip to France. We welcomed Charles, a French friend of Ralph’s, to our home — he’ll be here for 3 months. I flew to New York so I could speak with Ambassador Power at the Moms+SocialGood conference. Little June had a birthday (more on that later). Ben Blair went to Los Angeles yesterday with Ralph, Charles and Victor for a mini-vacation. (I know I mentioned Charles above, but do you remember Victor? He’s another French student who has been staying with us for 3 weeks. He heads back to France on Monday. So this trip is a fun finale while all the boys are together. They’ll be back late Saturday.) And today, it’s Betty’s birthday. Oh, and Maude has a track meet today as well.

That’s a lot of juggling! I do like it when our life feels full and busy, but I confess, sometimes I miss the slower pace of life we lived in France. : )

How are you doing? Are you planning anything for Mother’s Day? Nine-year-old Oscar will be giving a talk at church on Sunday to the whole congregation — the topic is mothers, of course. Ben Blair and I have been helping him with the talk, but man, it’s hard. Mother’s Day is kind of the worst. There’s a lot of sensitivity and angst and guilt around the day — and around our cultural myths about motherhood — for so many people. I know there are people who love the holiday, but honestly, it would not hurt my feelings at all if it was cancelled forevermore! (Am I even allowed to say that? Did I just betray women everywhere?) How do you feel about the holiday?

While I finish up my work week, and run some errands for Betty’s birthday, here are a few things I’ve wanted to share:

- Remember the Electrify Africa bill I lobbied for? Well. Good news: It passed!

- A StoryCorps recording between a mother and her adopted son.

- I’ve never seen anything like the work of artist, Heather Hansen.

- A light, bright, Swedish-style nursery.

- Last call! Do you have any Minted artwork hanging in your home? I want to see! Snap a photo and send it to me, and I may feature it in an upcoming post.

- I have a board on Pinterest called Cabins, Tents & Treehouses — I swear, it’s all I want to pin to lately. What are you pinning these days?

- 271 years before Pantone, an artist mixed and recorded every color imaginable in an 800 page book. It’s gorgeous. Thanks, Rachel.

- The world’s smallest cafe.

- NASA is now live-streaming 24 hours a day from the outside of the International Space Station. It’s incredible.

- It rains diamonds on Jupiter and Saturn. Thanks, Carlos.

- Like you, I can’t stop thinking about what’s happening to the hundreds of girls kidnapped in Nigeria. #bringbackourgirls

I hope you have a wonderful weekend, and I hope Mother’s Day is the best version it can be for you and yours! I’ll meet you back here on Monday. I miss you already.


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{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

1 carrie May 9, 2014 at 12:55 pm

ha! i am totally with you on the mother’s day comment! the holiday is such a pain. i try not to have expectations but i somehow always do. and i feel like we need to honor our mothers but then feel like i am having to give up my mother’s day for them…my best mother’s day was went i went to washington d.c. and spent the weekend with my single friend. i appreciate your honesty, gabrielle. if i were you, i’d spend the afternoon on my hammock in the woods.


2 Design Mom May 9, 2014 at 2:02 pm

” i feel like we need to honor our mothers but then feel like i am having to give up my mother’s day for them”

I hear you. I’ve experienced the same feeling.


3 Betsy May 9, 2014 at 1:05 pm

I have issues with Mother’s Day as well. My mother and my husband’s mother want to be honored that day and along with several spring birthdays and Easter it is a lot of time spent with our mothers. I have told my kids they have a pass on mother’s day for me (not their grandmothers, however!) This year my husband and I will skip that day altogether by flying to New Zealand and since we cross the international date line that day is gone!!! Could be the best mother’s day present ever (not sure why I didn’t think of this strategy before)-HA!


4 Design Mom May 9, 2014 at 2:00 pm

Your international date line strategy is genius! Made me smile. Have a great trip!


5 Connie May 9, 2014 at 1:18 pm

Oh, you are the best. I feel so drawn on Mother’s Day. On the one hand, I am SO lucky and grateful to have my mom and my mom-in-law both healthy and happy and around for me to honor and feel grateful in my daughter-ness. BUT- I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I am uncomfortable with this holiday. Because yet again, I’m not a mom. And Oh, how I wish I was. I know how to insulate myself (Avoid church that morning, avoid facebook from now until like Wednesday, go take the dog for a walk to clear my head, let my husband fold me up for a sad little grief session, and then go visit my own mom and make the biggest, most distracting fuss I possibly can over her), so maybe I’ll emerge on the other side in less of a funk. Thanks for your sensitivity and compassion, Gabrielle. You always are so thoughtful about the burdens others carry. I know I’m not the only person who is immensely comforted by your writing.


6 Design Mom May 9, 2014 at 1:59 pm

Oh man. I can only imagine how frustrating Mother’s Day must be when you’re in the throes of infertility. Ugh. And double ugh. I’ll be thinking of you.


7 Barchbo May 9, 2014 at 3:14 pm

Connie, I’ll be thinking of you this weekend. That must be so hard. Blessings to you, sister.


8 Becca May 9, 2014 at 1:42 pm

I totally echo your sentiments, Gabrielle, and Connie’s too. My biggest peeve about it is that they’ve tied it into church. It’s an individual’s job to honor mothers in whatever why they have been touched by them, not the congregation’s! When we were trying and trying to get pregnant we were far away from both our moms, and there was just nothing to make the day not feel like a huge kick in the gut.

Now that we have three adopted kids, I appreciate all the messy, cheesy gifts they bring home from school for me. But I also feel a burden of trying to recognize their birthmoms on Mother’s Day. It’s a balancing act of thanking them for the important role they play in my children’s lives, for the selfless decision each made to let us parent their babies, but also to be sensitive to their own feelings about that decision and the impact it’s still having on their lives, years later. Oooh, it’s an emotional minefield!


9 Design Mom May 9, 2014 at 1:57 pm

I think “emotional minefield” is the perfect description. You should see us trying to help Oscar tip toe around the bombs when he chooses his words for the talk, without trying to add any baggage to his own life. Tricky stuff!

It sounds like Mother’s Day ends up being a big job for you! Honoring birth mothers, plus your own mother (and perhaps a mother-in-law and grandmothers too!).

It seems like mothers end up working harder on Mother’s Day than they do on a regular day. (Sigh.)


10 carrie May 9, 2014 at 4:01 pm

yes!! that’s it! it IS more work for mothers on mother’s day.
let’s call the whole thing off.


11 Stephanie May 9, 2014 at 2:20 pm

I’m a stay-at-home graphic designer with two young kids and for the first Mother’s Day ever, I wish the holiday was nonexistent. This year I feel I lack so much of the “wonderful mother” qualities: “she’s so patient,” “she’s so loving,” “she’s so selfless.” At the end of most days, I just want to scream and get as far away from my kids as possible. But then when I lay my head down on my pillow at night, I’m flooded with feelings of guilt, that I need to be better, that I’m supposed to be cherishing these days. But dang it, I’m just plain frazzled! I told my husband he can skip the chocolates for me and focus on his own mother this year. I never thought I’d say that!


12 Design Mom May 9, 2014 at 4:17 pm

Oh Stephanie. You’re not alone! That’s a big part of why I think the way we celebrate Mother’s Day is so misguided. The holiday seems to focus on a perfect mother. But none of us are perfect mothers. The “wonderful, patient, loving, selfless” mother has plenty of days where she is none of those things.

Personally, I’m bothered by the idea that once you’ve become a mother, you are magically a wonderful person. Because that’s simply not true. There are great mothers and there are plenty of crummy mothers too. And everything in between. And even the great mothers have crummy days or moments.


13 Jmac May 9, 2014 at 5:07 pm

It will get better. I had years like you feel when my boys were younger and I didn’t work! Now they are 5 & 7 and both in school all day. I must say it is the break we all needed. Now I enjoy them and feel i am doing ok with them. I never thought this would happen. I thought I would always feel like the not good enough mom…


14 Rendy Lemke May 9, 2014 at 2:29 pm

I, too, do not care for Mother’s Day. I love author Anne Lamott’s take on it: “Here is a piece from salon.com that I wrote in 2010, as a rejoinder to the really sickening national appoach to Mother’s Day. And P.S. I miss my mom like crazy:

I did not raise my son, Sam, to celebrate Mother’s Day. I didn’t want him to feel some obligation to buy me pricey lunches or flowers, some annual display of gratitude that you have to grit your teeth and endure. Perhaps Mother’s Day will come to mean something to me as I grow even dottier in my dotage, and I will find myself bitter and distressed when Sam dutifully ignores the holiday. Then he will feel ambushed by my expectations, and he will retaliate by putting me away even sooner than he was planning to — which, come to think of it, would be even more reason to hate Mother’s Day.

But Mother’s Day celebrates a huge lie about the value of women: that mothers are superior beings, that they have done more with their lives and chosen a more difficult path. Ha! Every woman’s path is difficult, and many mothers were as equipped to raise children as wire monkey mothers. I say that without judgment: It is, sadly, true. An unhealthy mother’s love is withering.

The illusion is that mothers are automatically happier, more fulfilled and complete. But the craziest, grimmest people this Sunday will be the mothers themselves, stuck herding their own mothers and weeping children and husbands’ mothers into seats at restaurants. These mothers do not want a box of chocolate. These mothers are on a diet.

I hate the way the holiday makes all non-mothers, and the daughters of dead mothers, and the mothers of dead or severely damaged children, feel the deepest kind of grief and failure. The non-mothers must sit in their churches, temples, mosques, recovery rooms and pretend to feel good about the day while they are excluded from a holiday that benefits no one but Hallmark and See’s. There is no refuge — not at the horse races, movies, malls, museums. Even the turn-off-your-cellphone announcer is going to open by saying, “Happy Mother’s Day!” You could always hide in a nice seedy bar, I suppose. Or an ER.

It should go without saying that I also hate Valentine’s Day.

Mothering has been the richest experience of my life, but I am still opposed to Mother’s Day. It perpetuates the dangerous idea that all parents are somehow superior to non-parents. (Meanwhile, we know the worst, skeeviest, most evil people in the world are CEOs and politicians who are proud parents.)

Don’t get me wrong: There were times I could have literally died of love for my son, and I’ve felt stoned on his rich, desperate love for me. But I bristle at the whispered lie that you can know this level of love and self-sacrifice only if you are a parent. We talk about “loving one’s child” as if a child were a mystical unicorn. Ninety-eight percent of American parents secretly feel that if you have not had and raised a child, your capacity for love is somehow diminished. Ninety-eight percent of American parents secretly believe that non-parents cannot possibly know what it is to love unconditionally, to be selfless, to put yourself at risk for the gravest loss. But in my experience, it’s parents who are prone to exhibit terrible self-satisfaction and selfishness, who can raise children as adjuncts, like rooms added on in a remodel. Their children’s value and achievements in the world are reflected glory, necessary for these parents’ self-esteem, and sometimes, for the family’s survival. This is how children’s souls are destroyed.

But my main gripe about Mother’s Day is that it feels incomplete and imprecise. The main thing that ever helped mothers was other people mothering them; a chain of mothering that keeps the whole shebang afloat. I am the woman I grew to be partly in spite of my mother, and partly because of the extraordinary love of her best friends, and my own best friends’ mothers, and from surrogates, many of whom were not women at all but gay men. I have loved them my entire life, even after their passing.

No one is more sentimentalized in America than mothers on Mother’s Day, but no one is more often blamed for the culture’s bad people and behavior. You want to give me chocolate and flowers? That would be great. I love them both. I just don’t want them out of guilt, and I don’t want them if you’re not going to give them to all the people who helped mother our children. But if you are going to include everyone, then make mine something like M&M’s, and maybe flowers you picked yourself, even from my own garden, the cut stems wrapped in wet paper towels, then tin foil and a waxed-paper bag from my kitchen drawers. I don’t want something special. I want something beautifully plain. Like everything else, it can fill me only if it is ordinary and available to all.”


15 Design Mom May 9, 2014 at 4:13 pm

Yes to every word she wrote! I’m in full agreement.


16 Jen May 9, 2014 at 2:32 pm

I love Mother’s Day, because I think motherhood is something to be celebrated. Not just my own mother, but those who have played mother-like roles in my life. I love getting an opportunity to think about all of the things that so many women have done to improve my life.

I have thought a bit more recently about those for whom this holiday is difficult: those who have lost their mothers, suffered the pain of infertility or those that had a less-than-stellar mother. A situation I liken this to is five years ago when I went through a broken engagement. At the time, my younger brother was also engaged and was married around the same time that I would’ve been (and in the same place too). His actual wedding day was really hard for me. Does that mean he should’ve changed his plans? Absolutely not! I was happy for him even though I had a breakdown or two that day. I was really appreciative of the people that recognized the difficult time I was having despite my trying to be supportive (including my brother and his bride, who were nothing but sweet and sensitive).

I know the analogy isn’t perfect, but I don’t think we should stop celebrating something just because someone might be hurt. Instead, we should take it upon ourselves to recognize those who might be having a hard time, acknowledge them, and support them. I also realize that there are other reasons that you and others don’t love Mother’s Day, but I don’t think it’s going away anytime soon, so maybe it’s a good time to think about how to make it a better day for yourself and those around you.


17 Design Mom May 9, 2014 at 4:23 pm

I agree that the holiday is not going away. So I try to raise my kids so that they know I really don’t need any special attention that day. Instead, I try to do something like tackle a project (like the hammock hideaway) that I want to tackle, and have the family help, and then call that my mother’s day celebration. And if possible, I’m sure to skip church! I guess I’m just not in agreement that motherhood needs to be celebrated on a particular day.


18 Michelle May 9, 2014 at 7:31 pm

I SKIP CHURCH TOO! I told my kids the only thing I want for Mother’s Day is to skip church. Thankfully, one of my boys has a crew race this Sunday. Hoooooooray!

p.s. I don’t like Valentine’s Day either. I want love and respect to rule 365 days a year.

p.p.s. I might be a Grinch.


19 Rochelle May 9, 2014 at 2:33 pm

I am speaking Sunday and specifically referencing how we as women feel about Mother’s Day. We love gifts but hate guilt. And talks on Sunday just usually induce guilt, so it is my goal to make it real. And help them feel good instead.


20 Design Mom May 9, 2014 at 4:23 pm

Good luck on your talk!


21 katharine smith May 9, 2014 at 2:39 pm

NIck Kristoff of the NY Times had a great idea. We should mark the day by asking for contributions to the various funds in Africa to educate girls and do it to honor the mothers ( and fathers and siblings) who are suffering as they wait for word of what happened to their daughters in Nigeria. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/08/opinion/kristof-honoring-the-missing-schoolgirls.html?_r=0


22 Design Mom May 9, 2014 at 4:24 pm

I love that idea! Perhaps I’ll do that in honor of my mother and mother-in-law this year.


23 Makayla Sampson May 9, 2014 at 3:07 pm

I love Mother’s Day…I don’t have to cook, and my family does nice things for me and says nice things about me! What could be better than that!


24 Design Mom May 9, 2014 at 4:27 pm

Enjoy your day, Makayla!


25 Barchbo May 9, 2014 at 3:23 pm

I never even really thought about Mother’s Day other than I’ve often celebrated the day with friends who were struggling to start a family by going out for pedicures, shopping etc. It can be so hard!

My parents were of the mindset: every day should be Mother’s Day/Father’s Day. We always did a gift or a card but it was kind of a nonevent. My birthday is on Mother’s Day sometimes so my mom and I would do a combo dinner. It’s not really a big deal to me and it’s not a big deal to my mom. My MIL likes to be feted, but we don’t live near here and can’t make it this year. (We invited her to celebrate Father’s Day with us to honor her son this year. She was quite pleased.)

My only issue with Mother’s Day is that it seems to focus solely on the women who are actively raising children in their own home. There are SO MANY ways to be maternal and I wish we celebrated that more as society.

Historical note: when Mother’s Day was created it was at a time when women had limited options outside of being a homemaker. Women could not vote. Their educations were largely thwarted. Divorce was a rarity. I think the original intention of the holiday has been lost in the commercialization of the present day.


26 Design Mom May 9, 2014 at 4:26 pm

“We always did a gift or a card but it was kind of a nonevent.”

That’s generally what I’m after. Though once my kids have grown past the gifts-they-make-in-school stage, I’m happy with a verbal “Happy Mother’s Day!” and calling it good. : )


27 Lauren May 9, 2014 at 5:13 pm

“I think the original intention of the holiday has been lost in the commercialization of the present day.”

I think most holidays have become like this. We try to do things simply around here and not compare our quiet, family- and food-filled holidays with outside expectations.


28 Meg May 9, 2014 at 3:40 pm

Hi Gabrielle – I’m curious about the slow pace in France vs. the more busy pace in Oakland. Do you think a lot of it was from living in the country? Would you live at a more leisurely pace if you lived somewhere more rural in the US? Or does it have to do with French culture?


29 Design Mom May 9, 2014 at 4:12 pm

I’m sure it’s some of both. Yes, we lived in a rural area, but in my experience, there’s also simply less activity overall.


30 Katie Turner May 9, 2014 at 3:56 pm

I love Mother’s Day, and while I recognize that some people have a hard time with this for whatever reason, I think there is great value in celebrating something that is so divine and eternal as motherhood. I recently read this on a friend’s blog and thought it was so beautiful:

“Mothering, is, well, loving someone so purely and completely that they are, for all intents and purposes part of you, whether it’s in the literal sense that many lucky ladies get to experience, or whether it’s in the simple, beautiful sense of unconditional love. Motherhood is love in its purest form, and pure love, in my belief, is the love of Christ. And if He can gather us up like a hen gathers her chicks, can’t we all mother in that same way? Can’t we all love purely and absolutely and so wholly that we become one?
I certainly think so.

This Mother’s Day, I’m honoring literal mothers everywhere, because they do great things and beautiful and selfless things. But I’m also honoring the mother-like love that every human being can cultivate and experience. Sometimes, unfortunately, we can only come to really recognize it through pain or grief or, even, loss. But it’s so alive and so real, and because of that, I have no choice but to smile.”

I think we can all find a way to celebrate motherhood in this way.


31 Design Mom May 9, 2014 at 4:10 pm

I think the idea of honoring the idea of unconditional love is beautiful. I’m totally on board with changing the name of the holiday to unconditional love day! : )


32 Heidi May 9, 2014 at 4:27 pm

The day just seems forced to me-like Valentines Day. I love that my preschooler makes me a card, and I will cop to guilting my 4 kids into not fighting because “it’s Mother’s Day”. But other than that-I really don’t understand the big deal. I know my husband and kids love me and appreciate me. I don’t need an overpriced restaurant brunch or a bunch of flowers to illustrate their devotion.


33 Michelle May 9, 2014 at 7:33 pm

What she said.


34 Sabrina May 9, 2014 at 4:36 pm

This year for Mother’s Day, I just want to be alone… And sleep! Does that sound horribly selfish? I have a 3 year old, a 16 month old and I’m in my last trimester of pregnancy. I love my children, and I’m so honored to be their mother. I also love my mom and mother-in-law… But I’m just too tired to celebrate or be celebrated. A nap sounds lovely.


35 Amy May 9, 2014 at 5:20 pm

Growing up, my mother – who wasn’t originally from the US – thought it was a weird American holiday and her standard line was that her kids’ birthday (May 10 and May 16) were her mother’s days. My sister’s birthday often fell on Mother’s Day and my mom thought it would be wrong to overshadow a child’s birthday for what she thought of as a Hallmark holiday. Since my father’s birthday is in June, we’ve always celebrated that instead of Father’s Day.

Now, as a mother, I used to say the same thing my mother did, that my kids’ birthdays are my mother day and I’d rather be celebrated on my birthday. Also, I have a female partner and I want to make sure she is also celebrated even though I am a stay at home mom. BUT, my oldest child’s birthday is two days after mine in May and we are usually very focused on her celebration. Some years, it is simply easier on everyone if we treat Mother’s Day as my birthday.


36 Jmac May 9, 2014 at 5:23 pm

Our town plans a family bike ride so we will do that in the morning. I actually plan to make my husband and sons favorite dinner for them. My husband is away all week so eats out every day so I like to make something special for him on weekends.


37 Jill May 9, 2014 at 5:52 pm

We have always kept Mother’s Day simple which helps… But when my kids were little it was always an emotional disaster. Now they are teenagers and it is easier to not make it a big deal.


38 Ann May 9, 2014 at 7:14 pm

Similar to Heather Hansen’s work is Tony Orrico.


39 mom in mendon May 9, 2014 at 9:40 pm

I agree, Mother’s Day is a recipe for disaster:

1. We resent being forced or manipulated into a celebration we haven’t chosen.

2. Motherhood is emotional: your own motherhood or lack thereof, your relationship w/ your Mom or MIL, with your children, etc. There are those who rejected motherhood and live w/ regret. Emotion!

3. None of us likes to be compared to anyone/anything superior to us, ie, The Motherhood Ideal. Oddly, we ALL carry The Ideal in our heads, each in our own way. And we compare.

4. Because of its personal importance, we feel special about our motherhood issues and don’t like being herded in with the masses, on this day or any other.

5. We feel sorry for our sisters who have heartbreak.

I grew up in an extended family w/infertility, so I really appreciated motherhood when it came to me.

Our own angst aside, it’s good to remember that mother’s DO sacrifice, even crummy mothers. Mothers give life. Most are excellent simply because they love their children. When anyone serves us and loves us, we like to show appreciation, especially for gifts so great. In my view, it’s good that children are raised to honor mothers, to honor motherhood.

I feel tenderly for all of us, but it’s to our credit as a society that we have this holiday, that we honor moms, however clumsily.

I hope we get to hear Oscar’s talk! : )


40 Karmen May 9, 2014 at 10:58 pm

every day is mother’s day/father’s day/valentine’s day. we just love and try our hardest to be good to each other — some days we fail, other days we succeed magnificently. i enjoyed reading the comments of people who like mother’s day and agree with them…lovely answers! but also still just think it’s trying to cram so much into one day. honestly, I feel that way about Christmas, Easter & Thanksgiving too -it’s not necessarily the day but it’s the time we spend together that matters most.


41 Lindsay Marie May 9, 2014 at 11:49 pm

I admit to having a few disappointing Mother’s Days… But I love it now that my husband knows to get me pretty flowers and cook a yummy meal. :) I like being able to have a special excuse to spoil my own mother and express my love to her too. I never comment but wanted to say how gorgeous your home looks!


42 stacy May 10, 2014 at 4:54 am

I really dislike mother’s day too.Although we always ate brunch in a nice restaurant, and celebrated Mother’s day in a traditional way, but my father often gave my mother a really lovely gift “”just because”. He had really beautiful taste in clothing, and if he saw something lovely in a shop window, he bought it…”just because”.I guess that really influenced the way I view showing appreciation. I SOO greatly prefer thanks expressed spontaneously over these official holidays. I almost always miss american mother’s day, because the french date is different, but I never miss the chance to tell my mom just how lucky I feel to have had her as my mother, and how much I love her! I know she could not care less about the date. My MIL is a pain the *** for these types of things and it drives me crazy.She calls my husband and reminds him not to forget so and so’s b-day, or mother’s day or even our wedding anniversary. It drives me crazy, because so utterly beside the point…


43 julia g blair May 10, 2014 at 8:41 am

Donna hit the nail on the head for me. (Mom from Mendon) Fragile subject.
I am grateful for the occasion to remember and honor my sweet mom and I’m grateful that we value women and motherhood in all their multiplicities .


44 Lisa D May 10, 2014 at 4:46 pm

I recently read this article and it spoke to me about my mixed feelings on Mother’s Day.


45 Lisa D. May 10, 2014 at 4:51 pm

I too have conflicting feelings about Mother’s Day. I liked this article quite a bit:


46 Amy May 10, 2014 at 8:37 pm

Well, I feel like odd man out because I like mother’s day. But in thinking why, I wonder if it’s because I have pretty low expectations? I love the little cheesy gifts my kids bring home from school, I like sleeping in, and that’s about it. I don’t mother with much guilt either, and I’m uninterested in perfection. I don’t care about presents, I don’t care about anything fancy, and I’m not interested in spending huge amounts of time analyzing why mother’s day is a good or bad thing. Just give me some sloppy kisses and let me sleep in for the love of everything holy, and I”m good.


47 Alisha May 11, 2014 at 10:14 am

Amen sister. Side note, I do have a sister named Amy:)


48 Jen May 11, 2014 at 12:01 am

This discussion has had me thinking all weekend. I guess I’m with Amy’s comment above. It almost feels like people’s sensitivity to Mother’s Day is going right along with the world’s shift to being politically correct about every little thing. For example some sport’s teams have quit keeping score and everyone gets a trophy.

Motherhood is an honor for those who have children. And I’m sorry if it’s insensitive to post Happy Mother’s Day on a Facebook or Instagram account, but just because everyone is not a mother doesn’t mean everyone should feel like they are walking on eggshells or have to tip-toe through the right wording. Motherhood is amazing and most moms don’t mind being celebrated, even if it’s a simple card.

If it’s stressful or causing angst maybe you’re overthinking it. There are so many holidays that are overly commercialized.

I’ve read a few blog posts and articles shared on Facebbok from friends who are infertile. They reference the insensitivity, especially in the LDS church, about motherhood. It’s a divine calling, and yet we can’t talk about it at church? And you skip church because it offends you? I am a mother of two and I’ve actually had to think twice about posting about my children or about being a mom, which I love, because I wonder if I will hurt someone’s feelings or for the fear of being insensitive to those who can’t have children or who are trying. I’m sorry, but I absolutely live being a mom. It’s a huge blessing and it’s my entire life. I shouldn’t have to tip toe around it. Will it come to a point where we won’t be able to celebrate our children’s birthdays because it offends or is insensitive?

I will admit this discussion was surprising to me. I didn’t know there were such strong opinions on Mother’s Day and how it should be celebrated or even changed! I guess it’s what you want it to be. You can make it simple, have low expectations, or let it cause you angst. For those that hate it, I might say it again, maybe you’re overthinking it.


49 Hannah May 13, 2014 at 9:15 am

This is a little late and off the topic of how Mother’s Day should be celebrated, but I just wanted to say that I really liked Oscar’s talk; I thought it was sweet and heartfelt and I loved the mention of honoring Mother Nature. He struck just the right tone to me, which I know is so, so difficult on Mother’s Day. Great job to Oscar and all those who helped him with it!


50 Katie May 13, 2014 at 1:52 pm

I have long been uncomfortable with Mother’s Day for so many reasons. First, because I don’t like the obligation or the commercialization of it. Then, it was because I suffered from infertility and felt that, particularly at church, every comment about women’s divine role being linked to reproduction suggested that I had no worth. Then as a young mother working part-time (not out of necessity but because I wanted to maintain my hard earned career), comments about what good mothers look like did not reflect my reality, including that good mothers are stay at home moms (again, particularly at church), made me feel like I and other working mothers were being slapped on the face when they should be honouring all mothers’ efforts (and dang do I work hard as a mother). And lastly, because I want to honour my own mother but do not necessarily want to share the day. So I get a lot of what everyone has said above, and agree! But can I just add that this Mother’s Day was wonderful for me? My husband does not go overboard – no gifts from him but he made breakfast and dinner, thanked me for being a good mom, and helped my 4 year old pick out a gift (dollar store balloons and roses – a 4 year old’s dream gift – the 2 year old was too oblivious to be involved). She also painted me the cutest lizard ever put to paper and wrote me a note with the help of her babysitter and decorated the house for me. Her face was glowing and radiant; she was so proud of her contributions. The joy of my child in giving to me as a mother on Mother’s Day was so beautiful that my cup runneth o’er.


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